Art

O Aniki, Where Art Thou?

Something paradox (but to be expected) has happened. I was in Japan for two months, with one of the hopes of being there being able to obtain various information “on location” and writing about it, and yet I haven’t written a single post for this blog in that time.

Now I am back in Germany again and can only write retrospectively about what I have done there. And so it shall be.

Parallels

As mentioned, it’s raining now. I have to add, though, that it’s already raining since last night and in huge amounts, by the way (cats-and-dogs style). So I thought it would be best to listen to some music and upload one of my pieces again:

The above piece may be unusual to some extent; I would describe it (depending on the situation) as alluring, contemplative, or even uncoordinated. The piece is completely improvised and was part of an older project. I recorded it, I believe, in 2010.

Through the Literature Glass: A literary retrospective

This day marks the first anniversary of this blog! To mark the occasion I have listed all books that I have read in this past year in a table with some additional information like genre and number of pages and with a rating in the form of X/10 points. These were the books that appeared in the “Current Literature” section in the right sidebar on the post pages throughout the year.

It should be noted that I read these books voluntarily, so all literature for my university classes – with the notable exceptions of Japanese Society (which I read in private last year and which later incidentally appeared as a mandatory reading in my Anthropology class) and 東京原発 (no reason) –, like textbooks and short stories, is not included. Furthermore, the following kinds of readings are not included in this table: photo-books (Brassaï, Escher etc.); reference books (Programming in Scala); and all books I only read parts of (Adorno’s Musikalische Schriften, Hofstadter’s Le Ton Beau de Marot etc. etc.).

Quick Links

For a change of pace here’s a somewhat extensive selection of interesting articles and videos regarding all kinds of things. I hope that everybody will find something to his or her liking!

Japan

– In light of current events since it just became a World Cultural Heritage site: a little bit on the history and background on the controversy of 軍艦島 Gunkanjima (“battleship island”).

Who ever wanted to call a 3.8 meter high and 5 tons heavy robot his own… Currently sold out, but it was recently priced at 120 Mil. Yen (ca. 970,000 USD). A Video:

Doppelgangers

No, there won’t be any How I Met Your Mother references in this post. Well, except for the one in the title. Anyway. Now, I don’t know why but a couple of years ago I really got into celebrity impressions. Maybe it was because I noticed a decent capability to phonetically approximate different languages and dialects myself or because there actually was a considerable wave of impressions in the German comedy scene (just remembering this for instance…).

Gravity’s Rain

Something hymnal. Something that is melodic, solemn and that at the same time contains a ‘hard’ component. This is what I had in mind when I started composing this piece, Gravity’s Rain. Named like this for a couple of reasons, the most important is that I wanted to evoke the image of an ever-resounding force that promises us more but ultimately keeps us back.

The main element of this is the central arpeggio line that starts off acoustically and gradually transitions into distorted powerfulness. The complex arpeggio line was furthermore supposed to give the rhythm guitar a more melodically supporting but also distinctly accompanying character. By doing this I wanted to avoid this piece to end up just as a ballad.

The whole piece is framed by a simpler arpeggio line that rings weightlessly in acoustic space – and through this very framing it lends the whole thing a parabolic character –, with a mysterious note in the reprise. Where this rain originates?